It’s that time of the year when the days get shorter and crisper, the nights longer and chillier. New projects may be on hold, or you might be entering your busy season. Either way, you need to get your machinery ready to face the colder temperatures ahead. This guide covers what you need to know to prepare your compact construction equipment for winter.
How to Winterize Your Construction Equipment
The best source for information on preparing your heavy equipment for winter is in your library already — your owner’s manual. These guides specify everything from tire pressure and fuel type recommendations to thorough checklists for your particular model. Additionally, there are several general steps to take, including oil and filter changes, fuel optimization and visual inspections that keep your investments working better for longer.
Antifreeze, Oil and Filter Changes
Radiators can freeze if left with water or warm-weather antifreeze in place. Replace those with an antifreeze concentration rated for your regional forecasts.
Regular oil and filter changes are already part of your maintenance schedule, but you should pay closer attention to them during the winterization process. Oil tends to flow best when it’s warmer, so you may need to switch to a synthetic blend or one with lower viscosity for cold-temperature performance. This changeover is the ideal time to replace your oil and air filters too, even if you plan to store your equipment over the winter.
Most Cat® equipment uses 2-D diesel fuel to operate throughout most of the year, but winter’s colder temperatures could cause 2-D fuels to change viscosity and lead to clogging problems. Replace it with a 1-D grade during extreme cold. Use 40-cetane fuel at a minimum and 50-cetane if temperatures drop below zero.
Refill your equipment after use or before storage to prevent moisture from entering the fuel lines.
An essential task for proper winterization is one you do every time you start your machine — conduct a visual inspection. Make sure you’ve correctly inflated the tires and that the hoses show no signs of cracking. Examine the hydraulics and lubricate them if necessary. Look carefully at fan belts and electrical wires for signs of wear to prevent minor issues from becoming larger ones.
Contact Carolina Cat for All Your Winterization Needs
Carolina Cat is here to help you prep your heavy equipment for winter in Charlotte and throughout Western North Carolina. Since 1926, we’ve provided superior service and planned maintenance that keeps your machinery running smoothly for longer. Our knowledgeable team of certified techs will come to your facility or job site to save you time, and our extensive parts inventory ensures we have what you need to keep your equipment in optimal shape.
To discuss your equipment winterization needs, talk with an experienced team member today at 800-277-1212 or contact us online.